How to Find the Right Nursing School in Lake City Iowa
Searching for the right nursing program near Lake City IA may seem like a complex project, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is local to your home is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are several key additional aspects to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Lake City IA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Lake City IA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Lake City IA. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Iowa community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Iowa colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Lake City IA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Iowa board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Lake City IA. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Iowa approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Lake City IA area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Iowa to make sure that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Iowa. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Lake City IA home, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Iowa and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Lake City IA and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Lake City IA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Lake City IA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Iowa school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Lake City IA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Lake City IA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Lake City IA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Degree near Lake City IA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is perhaps the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many variables that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Lake City IA.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters typically ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should organize a number of ideas about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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